School board opposes Common Core

Resolution says district’s standards exceed national expectations

The Douglas County School District decision to extend school vouchers to some students is facing challenges from four national and local organizations. Photo by Courtney Kuhlen | ckuhlen@ccnewspapers.com
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The Douglas County School Board unanimously adopted a resolution July 16 opposing the Common Core Standards in favor of the district’s own.

The Douglas County School District’s standards are “more rigorous, more demanding, more thorough, and reflect higher expectations and aspirations for our students than any national standard now in existence, including the Common Core Standards,” according to the resolution. 

The Common Core Standards are a set of U.S. educational criteria introduced in 2010 to improve the quality of American education. Though they aim to step up academic expectations and bridge a growing global achievement gap, DCSD’s curriculum is designed to surpass those standards. Colorado and most other states adopted the national curriculum, but individual districts in the state are allowed to set their own.

“The Common Core Standards, while reasonable and appropriate for many school districts to emulate, are not reasonable or appropriate in Douglas County … and do not meet the expectations this district has for all of our students,” according to the resolution.

DCSD instead developed what it calls the Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum, which place a stronger emphasis on critical thinking and other skills, and makes changes to some teaching methods. School leaders previously have referred to the Common Core Standards as “the floor,” with the district’s standards rising above them.

The resolution formally states DCSD’s opposition to “a one-size-fits-all application of the Common Core Standard.”

“In Douglas County, our taxpayers, parents, teachers and students expect the very highest and rigorous standards — as embodied in our Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum — that will allow our students to learn today and lead tomorrow,” according to the resolution.

School board president John Carson introduced and read the resolution during the board meeting. It was adopted without comment from other board members.